WWE and its Board of Directors have confirmed that a Special Committee of the Board is conducting an investigation into alleged misconduct by its Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis, head of talent relations.
Further to that confirmation, WWE announced that, effective immediately, McMahon has voluntarily stepped back from his responsibilities as CEO and Chairman of the Board until the conclusion of the investigation.
News broke that McMahon made ‘hush money’ payments to a former employee earlier this week as reported by The South African News website.
Vince McMahon steps away
Vince McMahon will retain his role and responsibilities related to his direction of WWE’s creative content during this period.
According to the statement, McMahon remains committed to cooperating with the review underway.
The Special Committee has appointed Stephanie McMahon to serve as interim CEO and interim Chairwoman.
“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation. I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are,” said Mr. McMahon.
“I love this company and am committed to working with the Independent Directors to strengthen our culture and our Company; it is extremely important to me that we have a safe and collaborative workplace. I have committed to doing everything in my power to help the Special Committee complete its work, including marshaling the cooperation of the entire company to assist in the completion of the investigation and to implement its findings,” said Ms. McMahon.
WWE under fire
To make matters worse WWE have been further rocked by the news that company director Kevin Dunn was suspected of insider trading after he reportedly offloaded high volumes of company stocks.
As this news breaks WWE have announced a new independant review into the running of the company.
The statement concludes: “WWE and its Board of Directors take all allegations of misconduct very seriously.
“The Independent Directors of the Board engaged independent legal counsel to assist them with an independent review.
“In addition, the Special Committee and WWE will work with an independent third-party to conduct a comprehensive review of the company’s compliance program, HR function and overall culture.
“The Company and the Board do not expect to have further comment until the investigation is concluded.”